Nehe Milner-Skudder will play his first Super Rugby match since 2018 when he makes his long-awaited debut for the Highlanders against the Hurricanes on Friday.
The Highlanders will be without Josh Ioane for the match in Wellington, as well as Fetuli Paea, Ngatungane Punivai, Freedom Vahaakolo, Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Connor Garden-Bachop.
Ioane was originally named to start at fullback, but has since been ruled out through injury. All Blacks hopeful Marino Mikaele-Tu’u is also missing out with a stress fracture in his leg.
Thankfully for the Highlanders, Milner-Skudder is back to full fitness and will take Ioane’s place at fullback against his former side.
Milner-Skudder joined the Highlanders last year after being released by Toulon, but his debut was delayed by his struggle to return to fitness.
BREAKING | Unfortunately Josh Ioane has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s game vs Hurricanes after suffering a lower leg injury at training!
— Speight’s Highlanders (@Highlanders) April 29, 2021
🚨TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
Your Landers 23-man side to take on Hurricanes at Sky Stadium for the final round of SSRA 👊🏽
Sam Gilbert returns after 10 months on the sideline 👏
— Speight’s Highlanders (@Highlanders) April 28, 2021
The 30-year-old has had his own battles with both a shoulder and MCL injury, which prevented him from making a single appearance for the French giants.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images